BOUSSUET, Francois (1520-1572)
De natura aquatilium carmen, in universam Gulielmi Rondeletii
Lyon: M. Bonhomme, 1558. 2 parts in 1, small 4to. (7 3/4 x 5 3/8 inches). Bonhome's woodcut Perseus device on both titles, woodcut portrait of the author, 466 large woodcut illustrations of fish and marine life. One folding leaf with illustration in the second part.
Late 19th century brown morocco by De Samblanx and Weckesser, covers panelled with gilt rules, gilt fleuron cornerpieces, spine with five raised bands, lettered in the second compartment, the others with gilt fleurons, gilt edges, marbled endpapers
First and only edition of Bossuet's pictorial history in verse of fishes and aquatic animals.
Based on Guillaume Rondelet's authoritative work on fishes and marine life, each illustration is captioned by epigrammatic verses in Latin by Boussuet, a medical doctor, with much information about the taste and nature of fish meat and shells. The first part deals with fish only, the second part largely deals with shells. Although Baudrier attributes the woodblocks to Georges Reverdy, Mortimer states that the series of fishes, shells and various sea creatures had been cut for Rondelet's Libri de piscibus marinis, printed by Bonhomme in Lyon in 1554-55 and in French in the same year as this publication. Among the extraordinary illustrations is a depiction of a "monk" sea monster, a drawing of which was supposedly given to Rondelet by Margurite d'Angoulme, Queen of Navarre.
Brunet I, 1184; Baudrier X, p. 257; Durling 660; Nissen ZBI 511; Mortimer/Harvard French Sixteenth Century Books I, 118; Petit 253.